BC Ideas Exchange Success Stories

BC Ideas Exchange Success Stories highlight communities around B.C. and the innovative ways they approach economic development.

Contributors share:

  • How they've addressed economic development challenges
  • Innovative approaches 
  • Their experience and successes
  • Best practices
  • Lessons learned

We honour and value the incredible efforts of economic developers throughout the province. Their work is even more cherished given the significant pressures to the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we are focusing on the many stories of response, resiliency and recovery in B.C. communities in the coming months.

Learn from others’ experience! Explore success stories by topic or  location using this map.

Our Most Recent Success Stories

Social Innovation Lab Combines Student and Community Resources to Encourage Economic Development

Building on the success of a social innovation model used in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Ecotrust Canada has developed a Prince Rupert-specific program. This program supports workforce development and economic growth in the area.


Outreach Supports Small Businesses in  Wake of Natural Disaster

When a record-breaking fire season caused communities throughout the Cariboo region to evacuate, a small but mighty team of Community Futures managers came together to support small businesses. With a combination of outreach, training and technical support, the Wildfire Business Transition project came to life. 


From Raspberries to Revenue: Abbotsford International Airport

In 1997, Abbotsford International Airport’s largest income by line item was the modest revenue from raspberry farm operators located on the property. Fast-forward 22 years and the airport is using a company-first model to attract businesses, and is now poised to host a record-setting one million passengers in 2019!


Browse by topic

Communities in B.C. are growing their skills and knowledge by using tools and resources to reach their goals. This section shares stories and resources to help communities create plans and develop strategies, measure results, collaborate, access funding and more.

Social Innovation Lab Combines Student and Community Resources to Encourage Economic Development - Prince Rupert | Feb 6, 2020

Outreach Supports Small Businesses in Wake of Natural Disaster - Williams Lake | Jan 9, 2020

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate | Aug 29, 2018

Leveraging Co-operation and Business Investment to Power Economic Development – Cranbrook & Kimberley | Aug 10, 2018

Multi-Channel Ad Campaign Uses Data Insights to Attract New Residents and Businesses – Lower Columbia Region | Dec 22, 2017

Grassroots Economic Development Benefits Island Municipality – Bowen Island | Jan 10, 2017

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island |  Nov 23, 2016

Community economic development is a process of improving quality of life for the whole community. This section shares stories of community projects based on the needs of all people that are building economies and creating long-term jobs.

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake | Nov 22, 2018

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii | May 17, 2018

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu | May 3, 2018

Regional Partnership Creates Value-Added Food Products and Local Jobs – Creston Valley | Dec 29, 2017

Transforming a Mining Town into a Solar Energy Destination – Kimberley | Dec 8, 2017

Community Collaboration Brings Back Health Care – Scotch Creek | Feb 3, 2017

Creating Jobs and New Revenue Streams with a Community Forest License – Barriere | Feb 3, 2017

Protecting an Old-Growth Ecoforest through Community Organization – Vancouver Island | Feb 2, 2017

Land use planning can improve the economy of a community and create a clear path forward for developing community amenities. Some examples of this are building recreation centres or transportation networks. This section shares stories of land development work around B.C. and gives you tools to use in your community.

From Raspberries to Revenue: Abbotsford International Airport - Abbotsford | Dec 12, 2019

A High-Tech Factory Brings Back Jobs to a Community on the Site of a Former Mill - Canal Flats | Aug 15, 2019

Cannabis Leads a Town’s Economic Revitalization – Smiths Falls, ON | Jan 17, 2019

Attracting Development of Brownfield Sites through a Multi-Faceted Strategy – Langley City | July 26, 2018

Targeted Revitalization through Economic Investment Zones – Penticton | June 28, 2018

Creating Opportunity for Small Business through Zoning and Permitting – Port Moody | June 1, 2018

Landowners and Volunteers Work Together to Manage Community Trail Network  – Cumberland | Feb 9, 2018

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace | Dec 15, 2017

Students' Study of Local Airport Leads to New Land Development Potential – Township of Langley | Dec 8, 2017

Community-Led Park Development Project Creates Jobs and Attracts Visitors to Elk Falls – Campbell River | Oct 12, 2016

Indigenous organizations and communities are finding unique partnerships around B.C. to grow their economies. Creativity and collaboration are key to their success. This section shares stories and resources to support First Nations and Indigenous communities reach their economic development goals. 

Growing Economic Opportunity Through Native Plant Restoration – Moberly Lake | Nov 22, 2018

How the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw are Determining their Economic Future – Tsulquate | Aug 29, 2018

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C. |  June 15, 2018

Protecting Haida Values through Sustainable Forestry – Haida Gwaii |  May 17, 2018

Bringing a Local Harvest to an International Market – Klemtu | May 3, 2018 ​

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation | April 25, 2018

Government-to-Government Partnerships Create Industrial Development, Tax Revenue, and Jobs – Terrace | Dec 15, 2017

Building on a Community's Assets to Create an Economic Development Strategy – Cormorant Island | Nov 23, 2016

Local economic development and promotion go hand in hand. Investment attraction, tourism marketing, and resident attraction are important for a successful economy. In this section you can learn how to promote your community from others who’ve had success.

Big Data Helps Advance Regional Tourism Strategy  – Thompson Okanagan | Nov 7, 2019

Destination Marketing Organization Uses Targeted Videos to Attract Tourists – Gold Country | Mar 22, 2019

Love Northern BC Celebrates Local Entrepreneurs – Northern BC | Feb 13, 2019

Selling a Small-Town Lifestyle to Attract Entrepreneurs and Investment – Powell River | Nov 30, 2018

Attracting Young Urban Creatives to Small Town B.C.  – Kaslo | Oct 18, 2018

“Island Good” Makes It Easy for Islanders to Shop Local – Vancouver Island | Oct 5, 2018

Attracting Key Forestry Investors with Targeted Promotional Materials – District of Stewart | Dec 8, 2017

Business Attraction Video Highlights Local Value Proposition and Draws Investors – Township of Langley |  Dec 8, 2016

Cross-Sector Partnership Builds a New Info Centre that Attracts Visitors and Investors Alike – Revelstoke | Nov 25, 2016

Social Media Buzz Leads to Greater Community Awareness and Engagement – Kamloops | Oct 12, 2016

A strong local economy needs a dynamic and growing business sector. This section shares stories and resources to support businesses and entrepreneurs in your community.

Local Trends Lend Naturally to Clustered Innovation Approach - Prince George | Oct 17, 2019

How a Chamber of Commerce Pivoted Toward Economic Development – Ucluelet | Nov 2, 2018

Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C. | June 15, 2018

Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation | Apr 25, 2018

Agri-Tourism Program Gives Farmers Access to New Revenue Streams – Central Okanagan | Aug 10, 2017

Business Walks Open Dialogue Between Local Stakeholders – Abbotsford | Sept 29, 2016 ​

Venture Kamloops Advisor Program Prepares Entrepreneurs with a Mini "Dragon's Den" – Kamloops | Sept 29, 2016

The tech sector is growing in B.C. and innovative uses of technology are helping to breathe new life into many industries. This section shares stories and resources to support the growth of technology and innovation in your community.

Funding Fuels Growth for Innovation and Technology - Vancouver Island | Sept 17, 2019

Innovation Centre Supporting Home Grown Tech – Salmon Arm | May 23, 2019

Building a Tech Strategy with a Committed Local Task Force – Revelstoke | Dec 12, 2018

A Winning Municipal Tech Strategy: From Broadband to International Recognition as a Smart Community – Nelson | Apr 6, 2018

Diversifying the Local Economy Starting with a Municipally-Owned Broadband Network – Campbell River | Mar 1, 2018

Metal Tech Alley: How an Industry Town in Rural B.C. Rebuilt its Economy – Trail | Dec 15, 2017

Communities around B.C. are trying different ways to help businesses meet their workforce needs. In this section, see how communities are supporting workers by creating partnerships, supporting skills development, building immigration programs, increasing job access, and more.

Planning for the Workforce of Tomorrow through Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships – Surrey | Apr 18, 2019

Overcoming Disabilities and Mental Health Challenges to Attain Satisfying Employment – Victoria | Dec 19, 2018

How Go-Karts Improve Education Outcomes and Build Community – Tumbler Ridge | Sept 25, 2018

Workforce Development Partnership Reaching New Heights – Kelowna | July 12, 2018

Building a Competitive Local Film Industry through Workforce Training – North Central Vancouver Island | Mar 26, 2018

Growing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in Rural B.C. – Nechako Lakes | Jan 26, 2018

The Whistler Experience Optimizes Training for World-Class Customer Service – Whistler | Jan 5, 2017

Investing in Personalized Health Professional Attraction Pays Off – Quesnel | Dec 8, 2016

Attracting Digital Talent From Across Canada with the "Make It Here" Campaign – Kelowna | Sept 29, 2016